Women’s Basketball falls at WNIT
By Paul Glenn, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Dartmouth's Cinderella story in the Women's National Invitational Tournament was over before the pen could touch the page. The Big Green women fell to Seton Hall University 60-39 in the first round of the tournament Thursday, March 15, in South Orange, N.J.
The Pirates (19-12) went on to lose to Hofstra in the second round, as Dartmouth (15-14) saw its season come to an end.
Ashley Taylor '07, playing in her final collegiate game, had a stellar performance that reminded spectators why she was named Ivy League Player of the Year. She led the team in scoring with 17 points, while Koren Schram '09 followed in scoring for the Big Green with six points. Taylor also pulled down 10 rebounds, eight of them on defense. Margaret Smith '08 contributed eight offensive boards.
Despite Taylor leading the game in points, Dartmouth struggled to generate any offense in the first half. The Big Green held a thin 5-4 advantage just five minutes into the game, before watching its hopes evaporate as the Pirates fired up a 21-1 run over the next 11:47.
Dartmouth shot a dismal 18 percent from the field in the first half, and could not find the net from three-point range in seven attempts.
Schram attributed Dartmouth's lack of offense to its inability to make shots. "We had so many shots that in so many other games would have gone in," Schram said. "I think that if our shooting percentage had been up we would have been in the game. You just start gritting your teeth about the fact that we couldn't make a shot."
Seton Hall's offensive attack was powered by balanced scoring. Heta Korpivaara led the team with 14 points, and Noteisha Womack and Ela Mukosiej each scored 10. Somewhat curiously, Korpivaara, a senior guard from Espoo, Finland, was the only Pirate player to score as many points as there are letters in her name.
Dartmouth seemed to find its rhythm in the second half, opening with an 8-4 run to cut the Seton Hall lead to 34-19 early in the latter frame.
"Everybody knew we had to get it done," Schram said of Dartmouth's strong start to the second half. "We knew what we needed to do, and I think that helped us out in the first couple minutes."
Dartmouth spread the ball around, and was able to match Seton Hall's scoring, losing the second half just 30-28. While the Big Green crawled within 16 twice in the half, Dartmouth was unable to sustain a run to threaten the Pirates.
In addition to Taylor, the end of the season also marks the conclusion of the collegiate career of Fatima Kamara '07. But with only two seniors graduating, hopes are high for the young Dartmouth program that will get even younger with the addition of five freshmen next season.
"[Next season] will be a big learning experience. A lot of coaching, a lot of people trying to understand the game," Schram said. "I'm excited about it, and I do have high expectations."